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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jeff Gordon makes his surprising return to Brickyard

One week after Jeff Gordon asked his publicist to delay a long-planned announcement that he would drive the pace car before a race he won five times, the four-time Cup champion returned to the 2.5-mile oval as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s replacement and the top attraction in Sunday’s race.

Kenseth holds off Larson for thrilling victory at Dover

Matt Kenseth had eluded the wreckage that turned Dover into a junkyard. He never felt he could escape the pressure that Kyle Larson put on him – the anointed future star racing door-to-door with the former champion.

Rosberg wins Chinese GP for sixth straight F1 victory

Nico Rosberg of Mercedes captured the Chinese Grand Prix with ease on Sunday to extend his perfect start to the Formula One season and become just the fourth driver in history to win six straight races.

Auto notes: Castroneves leads way in Phoenix

Helio Castroneves had the fastest qualifying lap during a day of records in IndyCar’s return to Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, on Friday.

Newsmakers: Toronto Raptors sign former NBA No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett

Signed Former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett signed with the Toronto Raptors on Monday, and the Canadian forward is looking toward a new start in his hometown. Bennett has had a rough two seasons in the NBA since he was the surprise top overall pick – by Cleveland – in 2013. He battled injuries in his rookie season with the Cavaliers and second season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he landed with Andrew Wiggins in the Kevin Love deal. Bennett averaged 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 57 games for the Timberwolves. Out Florida State running back Mario Pender will miss Saturday’s football game at Wake Forest due to a collapsed lung suffered at practice last week. Coach Jimbo Fisher said Pender remained hospitalized and could be released later in the day. In three games for the 11th-ranked Seminoles (3-0 overall, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), Pender has 140 yards on 30 carries and has scored a touchdown.

Lewis Hamilton powers to dominant win at Japanese GP

SUZUKA, Japan – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday to widen his lead in the Formula One title race. Hamilton capitalized on a strong start and surged ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg at the first corner. He led the rest of the way, crossing the finish line a comfortable 18.9 seconds ahead of Rosberg, who started from pole. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was third.

Hamlin overcomes obstacles to take victory

Denny Hamlin vowed to make it to the championship round of NASCAR’s playoffs, and nothing so far is getting in his way. Not a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered playing basketball just days before the regular-season finale.

Brickyard 400 is Kyle Busch’s third straight Sprint Cup victory

Kyle Busch’s incredible comeback rolled through Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Busch won the Brickyard 400 on Sunday for a weekend sweep at the historic track. Busch missed the first 11 races of the season with a broken right leg and broken left foot. He returned in late May and has won three consecutive Sprint Cup Series races and four of the last five.

Auto racing: Dale Earnhardt Jr. to start on pole after rain washes out qualifying

Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned the pole for today’s race at Daytona International Speedway at Daytona Beach, Florida, because his crew chief correctly predicted the weather. Greg Ives instructed Earnhardt to go flat-out at the start of Friday’s first practice session because the rules state the field will be set by practice times if a qualifying session is canceled. When rain washed out the session, Ives proved to be a skilled weatherman.

Gamble fails in Monaco

MONACO – An ill-judged gamble by Mercedes cost Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton his fourth win of the season, gifting his teammate and rival Nico Rosberg a third straight win at the Monaco Grand Prix and putting him firmly back in the title race. Formula One’s showcase race passes by the famed Monte Carlo casino, where big fortunes have been won and lost on its famed tables over the decades.